Documentary slams 2010 World Cup

19/12/2009 at 10:46 4 comments

Was it a good idea to host the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, a developing country that is facing many pressing issues such as crime, poverty, and HIV – problems that need funding? No, say some critical voices in a documentary called “Fahrenheit 2010”. South Africa should have spent the billions of rands it pumped into the 2010 Football World Cup on solving issues such as lack of houses, poor health care, education and crime.

“When you build enormous stadia, you (are) shifting those resources … from building schools or hospitals and then you have these huge structures standing empty and being used to a very limited extent. They become white elephants,” anti-apartheid veteran Dennis Brutus tells in a new documentary called “Fahrenheit 2010”. The film takes a critical look at the World Cup Soccer, which is scheduled to take place in South Africa in June and July 2010.

Fahrenheit 2010, written and directed by Australian Craig Tanner, was screened to a Cape Town audience for the first time on Sunday evening.

One of the fears is that the 10 soccer stadiums will become empty shells, due to the fact that South Africa does not host many international concerts or large sports events, and that they will become a burden to taxpayers. The upkeep of the stadiums will, say experts, devour money that should be spend on solving critical issues such as housing, poverty, inequality, unemployment and the HIV pandemic.

The location of certain stadiums, including the semi-final venues Green Point in Cape Town and the stadium in Durban, have also been criticised. “There is currently no contingency plan saying what’s actually going to happen to this stadium (Mbombela) once the World Cup is gone … and at the end of the day one can only think that the stadium is going to stand redundant and empty afterwards,” said Anthony Benadie, an opposition politician in Fahrenheit 2010.

One of the main opinions raised during the documentary is that South Africans in general will not benefit from the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

“The tragedy is that public funds have been looted for a moment in our history. People are still going to be living in shacks, the jobs are not sustainable – this is a blatant misuse of funds,” said sociologist Ashwin Desai.

However, some viewed the tournament in a different light – as a vehicle for uniting a nation still battling the effects of discrimination 15 years after apartheid, and where the gap between rich and poor is the highest in the world.

“With all the negative things that are taking place in Africa, this is a superb moment for us. If we are going to have white elephants, so be it,” said Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

Source: Soccernet


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